In her sculptural and two-dimensional works, Radhika Khimji explores ideas relating to the body and the fluidity of identity, while paying attention to the bodily experience of being in space.Read More
Radhika Khimji studied in London, receiving her BFA from the Slade School of Fine Art (2002); Postgraduate Diploma from the Royal Academy of Art (2005); and MA in Art History from University College London (2007).
According to the artist's statement, Radhika Khimji's works are 'at once painting, a drawing and a collage' as well as 'an embroidery and a sculpture'. Employing various mediums, Khimji constructs intentionally ambiguous artworks that evade categorisation.
Khimji's ongoing concern with the body traces back to 'Shifters', a series of plywood works that take the form of fragmented bodies in movement. Also known as the 'Cut Outs', 'Shifters' in turn derives from an earlier series of collages that the artist began in 2002, which also revolved around human forms and gestures.
In 'Shifters', Khimji moved beyond the rectangular confines of collage to create anthropomorphic cut-outs from plywood. Resembling dancing or moving bodies, they are often covered in brightly coloured and intricate patterns, as seen in the three distinct forms of Squat (2005), or painted with lumpy forms evocative of human musculature, as in Sitting (2009).
The dot is a recurring motif in Khimji's work, which she describes as 'the visualisation of a human gesture' in her 2021 conversation with Ocula Magazine. In Right Leg Up (2008), for instance, the semi-translucent Plexiglas figure raises its leg up, from which emanates an orange and brown cloud perforated with dots made by burning holes into paper. Just as the act of raising a leg embodies the movement of a body in space, the holes or the cavities hint at the human gestures that created them.
Another recurring motif in Khimji's practice is the parachute, which the artist considers as a metaphor for 'an external drive' and commonly drapes over walls, buildings, or even rocks. In Safe Landings (2010), her first solo exhibition in Oman, Khimji installed parachutes across Barka Fort in addition to her cut-out works; the parachutes also made their way to Marrakech as part of the 6th Marrakech Biennale in 2016, where they appeared at the El Badi Palace. In presenting parachutes in different places, Khimji raises questions about whether the parachutes, in relation to the specificity of their site, can be read as symbols of hope or abandonment.
Radhika Khimji's work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions as well as international art fairs.
Solo exhibitions include Adorning Shadows, Experimenter, Kolkata (2021); Shift, Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna (2019); Over, Through and Around, Letitia Gallery, Beirut (2018); Of Place and Places, Gallery Sarah, Muscat (2016); Artefacts from Below, Project 88, Mumbai (2014).
Group exhibitions include Searching for Stars Amongst the Crescents, Experimenter, Kolkata (2019); Adventitious Encounters, Whiteleys, London (2018); Marrakech Biennale 6: Not New Now, Marrakech (2016); 4th Ghetto Biennale, Port-Au-Prince, Haiti (2015); Salon Oman, Leighton House, London (2013).
In 2022, Khimji will present her work in Oman's first national pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale.
Khimji's website can be found here, and her Instagram can be found here.
Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2021